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NFL power rankings: Which division is best in 2017?

The National Football League will be back in training camp come the end of July, but we can’t wait that long to start talking some pigskin. So which of the eight divisions will be the toughest come September? Let’s take a look.

8. AFC South

It’s hard to argue any other division as the weakest. In each of the past two years, the Houston Texans have won the South with nine wins and a revolving door under center. This year, both the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are improved. Still, 10 wins is likely the ceiling for any of these teams. Also, the Jacksonville Jaguars are still starting Blake Bortles.

7. AFC East

Another AFC division, and this time the East. The New England Patriots are incredible, but the rest of the gaggle is average to atrocious. Can the Miami Dolphins have a repeat performance and make the playoffs? They struggle to beat teams with winning records, so that’s a warning sign. The Buffalo Bills are going nowhere, and the New York Jets are the league’s worst team.

6. NFC West

Yes, the once-powerful West is no good. The Seattle Seahawks are a quality team but they have some issues up front, while the Arizona Cardinals had a bad offseason. Beyond that, the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams will struggle to win 10 games between them.

5. NFC South

The Atlanta Falcons are terrific, but we aren’t sure about the other teams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are up-and-coming and should push hard for a postseason spot, while the Carolina Panthers try to bounce back. The New Orleans Saints have already been bitten hard by the injury bug, and have 7-9 written all over them.

4. AFC North

The Pittsburgh Steelers will contend for the Super Bowl provided an oft-injured team can stay out of the cold tub. The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals both appear to be past their primes, but each has enough talent and experience to make a run at the wild card. The Cleveland Browns are rancid, but they seem to have some hope with DeShone Kizer in the fold.

3. NFC North

This should be a two-horse race between the Green Bay Packers (favorite) and Detroit Lions. Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers while the Lions had a nice offseason, sans the Taylor Decker injury. It’s tough to say what the Minnesota Vikings will be until we know the status of Teddy Bridgewater, but that’s a dangerous team with a terrific defense. The Chicago Bears are bad, though.

2. NFC East

The East is back to being a very intriguing division. The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants both went to the playoffs last year and should battle for the crown again. The Washington Redskins had a rough spring but the offense should score plenty, while the Philadelphia Eagles are hoping for Carson Wentz to take the leap in his second year.

1. AFC West

There isn’t a bad team in this group. The Kansas City Chiefs are defending Western champs and are the favorite again with a deep roster and Andy Reid at the controls. Otherwise, the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers should compete for playoff spots, led by Derek Carr and Philip Rivers. The Denver Broncos are a bunch of questions on offense, but the defensive talent is evident.

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